Warning: HUGE spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War ahead!
Marvel fans around the world are still trying to recover from the insanity that is Avengers: Infinity War, and we can't blame them. The entirety of Infinity War is a race to stop Thanos from collecting all six Infinity Stones and decimating half of the universe with a single snap of his fingers. Though our favourite superheroes from all 18 previous films of the MCU come together to fight against Thanos and his children, in the end they aren't enough to stop the big bad's mission. Not only are the lives of several of our favourite characters lost, but countless civilisations are destroyed because they're in Thanos's path.
See? That's a lot to take in. It's easy to lose track of how Thanos actually collects all the Infinity Stones in the movie in the midst of all that madness, so never fear — we're here to help! Check out our handy guide for a refresher on Thanos's quest for the Infinity Stones.
- The purple Power Stone, aka the Orb: This stone is originally introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy when the Guardians defeat Ronan the Accuser, who attempts to use the Orb to destroy the planet Xander. The Guardians leave the Orb to be protected by the Nova Corps on Xander, but it's the first Infinity Stone that Thanos collects. When Thor is found by the Guardians, he mentions to them that Thanos already possess the Power Stone after destroying Xander.
- The blue Space Stone, aka the Tesseract: The second Infinity Stone to be collected by Thanos is the Tesseract, which was originally on Asgard with Thor and his family. In Thor: Ragnarok, Loki manages to escape the destruction of Asgard with the Tesseract hidden on his person before hopping on the Asgardian refugee ship. We see Thanos's ship pop up in the end credits of Ragnarok, and Infinity War begins with the aftermath of Thanos's attack on the ship. Loki gives Thanos the Tesseract to save Thor's life, but it comes at quite a cost — he ends up dying at Thanos's hand after a botched assassination attempt.
- The red Reality Stone, aka the Aether: Introduced in Thor: The Dark World, the Aether is the third Infinity Stone that Thanos collects. Originally formed into a weapon by a Dark Elf, Malekith, the Aether is eventually taken by the Asgardians who decide to give it to The Collector on Knowhere because they already possess the Tesseract and believe it's unwise to keep two stones close together. In Infinity War, Gamora, Drax, Mantis, and Peter travel to Knowhere in hopes of getting to the stone before Thanos. When they get there, they learn that he's already claimed the stone, and it's implied that he's killed the Collector.
- The orange Soul Stone: First referenced in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Soul Stone is the most mysterious of the Infinity Stones and the fourth one that Thanos collects. As revealed in a conversation between Thanos and Gamora, the intergalactic villain tasked his adopted daughter with the stone-finding mission some time before the events of Guardians of the Galaxy. Gamora finds a map to the stone's location on the planet Vormir and burns it, knowing that Thanos can never be allowed to collect all six stones. However, Thanos later learns of her treachery and uses the safety of her sister, Nebula, to get her to confess. On Vormir they encounter Red Skull, the guard of the Soul Stone, who warns Thanos that he must sacrifice the soul of a loved one to get it. Thanos throws Gamora over a cliff and gains his fourth Infinity Stone.
- The green Time Stone, aka the Eye of Agamotto: The fifth Infinity Stone that Thanos claims is perhaps the most frustrating to watch him take. Introduced in Doctor Strange, the Eye of Agamotto is protected by the Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Stephan Strange, and kept in a secret compound, Kamar-Taj. When Doctor Strange learns that Thanos is after the Infinity Stones, he repeatedly states his mission to keep the stone safe and seems indifferent to anyone else's safety. When a plan to take the gauntlet from Thanos is foiled and the villain is close to killing Tony Stark, Strange surrenders the stone in exchange for his safety. But perhaps it's all part of a bigger plan . . .
- The yellow Mind Stone: First seen in The Avengers as part of Loki's Chitauri scepter, the mind stone isn't actually revealed to be an Infinity Stone until Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's the final stone Thanos collects, and it's brutal to watch him take it. The Mind Stone is housed in Vision's forehead and is the reason for the massive, deadly battle in Wakanda between Thanos's children and the Avengers. Though Wanda ultimately destroys the stone during the final battle, Thanos uses the Time Stone to turn back time and repair the stone, ripping it out of Vision's head and completing the gauntlet.
With all six stones in his gauntlet, Thanos is able to finally carry out his lifelong mission. Even with a last-minute attempt by Thor to take his life, Thanos manages to make that fatal snap of his fingers, ending the lives of half the universe. As the heroes look on in horror, some of their friends turn to dust before their eyes (Bucky, Black Panther, Groot, etc.). The film ends with Thanos alone and seemingly at peace, a smile on his face.
Since we have another year until Avengers 4 comes out, comfort yourself by remembering those who made it out of the movie alive.